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Just One More Day / Letter 01

The year is 2022, people are starting to speak up more about mental health issues but are we doing enough? As a person who has been clinically diagnosed with major depressive disorder, eating disorder, and an addiction issue to boot, I am still wary about speaking up and sharing my stories on the interwebs.

I often find myself writing posts on my social media accounts in attempt to help others, and deleting them hours or even so, minutes after, as I must admit embarrassingly enough, I fear judgement from others. Herein lies the conflict between the hopes of helping others, versus facing judgment from others.

The cliché phrase often goes, “Those Who Mind Don’t Matter, and Those Who Matter Don’t Mind”. An easy enough concept to comprehend, but a tough notion to accept no doubt.

5 suicide attempts later, a 10 year long fight with an eating disorder, coupled with an alcohol and prescription pills addiction, I am ready to tell my story.

Perhaps it all started out with a messy childhood. Dysfunctional family ties i.e. Seeing my parents quarrel constantly from the age of 2. The memories of having the police called down, coupled with vivid images of my father’s belongings thrown out of the house.

For the longest time, I was in deep denial that this may have been the beginning of how it spiraled downhill. Truth be told, I was relieved when my parents finally got divorced. The fighting stopped, but my mother, I believe, fell into depression and took it out on me.

My brother stopped talking to me for 9 years, and it hurt in retrospect.

Thus begun my terrible coping mechanisms. From starving, to self-mutilation, to smoking 2 packs a day, to drinking a 1.5 litre of hard liquor daily.

I finally attempted suicide in 2017, and then again in 2018, and in 2019. All the attempts were made via overdosing on any forms of medication I could get my hands on. My last attempt was frankly, this July ’22. It was classified as an overdose, though I never intended to. However collapsing midday and being sent in an ambulance to the nearest A&E says otherwise.

The addiction never stopped. I was, and still am, trying to find a balance between my addiction, eating, anxiety, and depression issues.

Benzodiazepines (Xanax), Z-drugs (ambien), and hallucinogens (dextromethorphan), were, and are still my kryptonite.

Ironically enough, it took a traumatic 24 hours trip on dextromethorphan that gave me the introspection I needed.

It was either to get help or kill myself. 4th’s time the charm and I was not planning on failing at it.

I chose the former route, so here I am, still breathing, still alive, still swimming.

I beseech anyone who is struggling: seek help. There is no shame in it. It is a complex time that we are living in, but we should never forsake ourselves. I am not asking you to love yourself immediately, but to stay afloat because this universe is larger than life — there is much so much beauty in this world that we have yet to witness.

Here’s one thing for you: as dysfunctional as my family is, seeing my father by my hospital bed on his birthday or my mother by my side crying—keeps me from hanging on.

Just one more day.

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